It’s an emotional couple of days for patrons of Chameleon’s Lounge, the little LGBT bar that’s located on the very edge of Murfreesboro, leading into Smyrna.
For 10 years, the bar has welcomed the community as a safe place to convene and become a family. But this week, bar owners Carmen Rodriguez and Wanda Gannon announced they’ll be closing — at least for now.
“Wanda and I would like thank everyone who has made this little bar successful over the years and for the great times we have had here at Chameleons,” read the post on their official Facebook account. “We have met so many awesome people from all walks of life, that have come from all corners of Tennessee as well as the nearby states (who have) made Chameleon’s (their) home bar, a sanctuary for many … an accomplishment in which we are very proud of. However, it is with our deepest regret that our last finale will be held on December 16th and (we will be) closing our doors.”
George W. Manus Jr., who performs weekly at the club as Iona and who has served as their show director since 2013, hinted that they may reopen later, although there is no confirmation of that now.
“The owners are pursuing the perfect location now,” Manus said.
Chameleon’s has served an important role in up-and-coming performance in the community, and Manus has been mindful to include all types of performers and drag. “The Open Stage show has included singer-songwriters, comedians and all forms of drag, including but not limited to queens, kings, divas and male leads,” he said. “We have maintained Open Stage to afford new performers an opportunity and stage to give their talents a try and to hone their craft.”
The last show will be on Saturday, Dec. 16, and will be a “emotional yet polished show as we fade to black,” Manus said.
You can also expect some surprises, as they plan to bring back cast members from the past as well as include present performers.
“It has truly been an honor to work alongside pioneers of the community like Wanda and Carmen who put their hearts on the line week after week to offer a 100% Hate Free Zone,” Manus said.
“If you have entered our doors you have become part of an ever-growing family of love and acceptance,” Manus said. “I can’t imagine a better legacy.”